Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, IoT User Interface, Wearables

Adobe Flex: Blog Feed Post

Apple and Emotional Discussions Around Adobe Flash Player

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works

The recent announcement of iPad has ignited yet another wave of emotional discussions around the role of Flash Player in the evolution of mankind.  People easily take sides and everyone seems to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  Actually the word ‘’people” is too vague in this context, because vast majority of the population has no idea what Flash Player is, and they don’t have to know!  As long as they go to youtube and it plays videos people are happy and casually say, “Youtube is a great site!”  

On the same note, I have no idea how my car operates. Back in my school days, I’ve learned that some stuff burns inside the engine producing another powerful stuff that make the wheels spin.  Do I need to know more? Absolutely not. I lease cars and change them every three years.  Once a year I visit those 10-min oil change shops, and people open up the hood and do something to my car, which supposedly helps it run longer.



BTW, believe it or not, 80% of the people working in these shops don’t have deep understanding of how the car operates either. They have a better idea than me, but only people who designed the engine of my car know how it works.
The same holds true for Flash Player, which divides the Earth population into four distinct groups. The first group has about  a dozen of people who know how Flash Player really works.

A couple of hundred people belong to the second group. They believe they know how Flash Player works,  and I’m one of them. For example, in the upcoming seminars in Brussels and San Antonio, CA you’ll hear me explaining how Flash Players slices your code and allocates CPU cycles depending on the nature of the program it runs – more for UI rendering and less for the ActionScript Byte Code, or vice versa. I believe I understand how it works and will be happy to share with you my beliefs.

The third group of people consists of millions of software developers who either believe that Flash Player is a proprietary trash that should burn in hell, or those who say there’s no life without Flash Player.  
The fourth group are the people who never knew what the Flash Player was and lived happily ever after.

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works.  Let’s enjoy badmouthing big guys: Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft. It’s easy because they are filthy rich corporations that want your hard earned money for their proprietary software that crashes, gives you blue screens, works slow, and has as many bugs as software written by you.

Yes, Apple products look polished. But until you can afford them it’s clear that only stupid people buy them - your netbook running Windows can do the same things for cheap.   Similarly both Hyndai and Mercedes owners consider each other idiots. Among computer literate people there’s a group of fanatics who equally hate both Apple and Microsoft as they want only free and open source software.  They don’t value their time and prefer to spend hours on making things work and reinventing the wheel  than using someone’s proprietary products.  These people are ready to constantly adjust and fix their HTML/JavaScript (do people still use the AJAX word?) Web applications, but will never accept the benefits of a cross-platform proprietary Virtual Machine such as Adobe’s Flash Player.  

Apple wants complete control on all the software that runs on their mobile hardware.  Since they can’t control the Flash Player’s code they don’t want it there.  Actually, Apple doesn’t want any competition to their system software on iPhone and iPad OS. You can use any Web browser as long as its name starts with an “S” and ends with an “i”. They invite developers to create programs for iPhone/iPad, but you can sell them only through iStore and that’s the main reason why they don’t want Flash Player there because  people will immediately start selling their games written for Flash.

On one hand, Apple says that Flash Player uses lots of resources and works slow on iPhone OS.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if one program runs slower than others on the same hardware there’s gotta be a way to improve its performance unless the owner of the hardware doesn’t want it to happen. And Apple is not willing to give Adobe the low-level API to use iPhone’s hardware more efficiently. Today, Apple wants to maintain the image of Flash Player as poorly written program.  

People who’ve been in the industry long enough remember how fifteen years ago Microsoft applied similar technique to kill WordPerfect, the competitor of Word at the time.  Microsoft was the owner of the code base of both THE OS and Word, and they didn’t want other word processors in the vicinities.

So far Adobe can’t find the key to the heart of Apple and Flash Player suffers.

I’d also want to bring your attention to another aspect that hurts Flash Player on the consumer-oriented market of Web applications. I’m talking about search engine optimization (SEO).  If you were a small business, would you consider creating a Web site for your company in Flash as opposed to HTML/Java script? Most of the small business owners wouldn’t want it. Why? Because they want their services to be found on the Web. If I sell vacuum cleaners or run a brothel in Nevada, I want the highest possible visibility on the Web.

Let’s take a concrete example – a Web site of our company that sells consulting services in development of rich enterprise applications with Flex and Java. Our Web site http://www.faratasystems.com runs in compiled ActionScript under Flash Player getting its content from external XML files.

What are the chances that someone who’s looking for Flex consultants on Yahoo! or via Bing search engine will find our Web site? You got it! We have zero chances of being found. What about Google? The chances are pretty much the same.  During the last two years I hear that Adobe gave Google some mysterious headless Flash Player (a.k.a Ichabod) that knows how to index an external content played by Flash Player. Does it work? I have my reservations.

You may say,  “Yakov, if you know all this, why in the world have you created the Web site of your company in Flash?” No worries guys, I’m not that stupid. The thing is that I have big mouth. I blog and  write articles heavily sprinkled with the proper keywords in plain HTML and JavaScript, and it helps.

Let’s do a hands-on experiment. Go to Google and type the following  words: enterprise development flex.  At the time of this writing, the first two entries on the first page refers to a book “Enterprise Development with Flex” that I co-authored with two of my colleagues at Farata Systems. The third and fourth entries will send you to my blogs at insideria.com. The fifth entry is an excerpt from our book published at Adobe Developers Connection site. The next entry will lead you to our book on Amazon.com. 

The entry number seven is from flexblog.faratasystems.com – it’s our Wordpress blog. None of these entries returned by Google was Flash content – all sites were plain HTML. Got the picture?

If you have spare time, check the second, third, fourth page of Google search results, and good luck in finding our nice, clean, and well designed Flash-only faratasystems.com.

Let’s get back to the original question, “What about a small business that sells vacuum cleaners online?” The chances are slim that they will write books and articles about their business hence their chances to be found online, if done in Flash, are close to zero.  Does it mean that using Flash Player for consumer oriented sites is a bad idea? Not at all, but you should play smart. If I’d be developing that vacuum cleaners’ Web site, I’d do it in HTML/JavaScript embedding Flash content in some portions of the Web site.

The picture is absolutely different in the enterprise  world of rich Internet applications. This is where Flash Player and corresponding technologies shine.

When I was developing a front end for a trading application of a foreign exchange company, I didn’t need it to be found by Google. I needed it to look and perform well, and nothing beats the Flash/J2EE combo there.  Take another example – an occasionally connected application for salesmen on the road. Adobe AIR (it embeds Flash Player) is the best tool for this job.

What’s the bottom line? Flash Player is an important part of today’s Web landscape. It’s not perfect, but there are areas where it’s the best if not the only solution. What about HTML 5? If the history of HTML 4 means anything to you, don’t expect HTML 5  to be a standard way of developing Web applications for another several years.  If you need to create an application that looks good and performs well today, go Flash Player 10.1 and above.

As to Apple and their bad behavior in iPhone OS, they won’t last long without Flash Player there. Take a look at this video showing great performance of Flash Player 10.1 on Nexus, the closest iPhone competitor. As soon as more smart mobile devices from other vendors (all of them will support Flash Player) will start competing with iPhone, Apple will surrender.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.